Hilton Sandestin, the largest beachfront hotel in Northwest Florida, is a luxury destination available at a budget-friendly price. With huge suites, plenty of pools, and a private sugar-white sand beach just steps away, Hilton Sandestin is the perfect escape for families, no matter the season, and the perfect location for exploring Destin with kids. Our contributor Heidi Gollub recently booked a multi-generational vacation at the resort, for the week of Thanksgiving. Here’s what she loved about spending a holiday at the hotel, with her children and parents.
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Hilton Sandestin: Perfect for Families
Disclosure: Promotional consideration provided to the brands mentioned in this post. All opinions are those of the author.
I have been daydreaming about returning to Hilton Sandestin on Florida’s Miramar Beach for years. The unbelievably soft sand and clear-as-glass water called to me. I knew my parents would love strolling by the sand dunes bordering the Gulf of Mexico, my husband would love building castles out of quartz crystal sand, and my kids would love swimming in the ocean and hotel pools. I love taking Thanksgiving getaways, because it means I won’t have to cook for a whole week!
Hilton Sandestin is perfect for families because not only is it located right on Miramar Beach, south of Destin, but also because this stretch of beach is private. Depending on the time of day, you can just about have the place to yourself.
Stroll along a deserted stretch of sand at sunrise, then return the hotel for breakfast. Go for a swim in the ocean, then head back to your room for a nap. It’s so convenient, which is wonderful when vacationing with kids. Plus, if you time it right, you can see sting rays and dolphins frolicking in the water. Bring snorkeling gear, and you can also watch fish underwater, hanging out near the shore!
Resort Amenities at Hilton Sandestin
With three heated hotel pools, and two whirlpools, Hilton Sandestin is pretty much kid paradise. During the week of Thanksgiving the ocean water was on the cool side, so my kids spent most of their time pool-hopping at the hotel.
Visiting the outside whirlpool — with its color changing lights — was a huge hit. We went every night we were at the hotel. Between the beach and the pools, and occasional holiday movie breaks in our suite, it was a fun week.
When I booked our stay, I was delighted to discover how affordable it was to get adjoining family suites. My husband, kids and I stayed in a Junior Deluxe Suite with two double beds, a pull-out couch, and a nook with bunk beds.
My parents stayed next door in a suite with a bedroom, living room, dining room, and nook with two bunk beds. Since the rooms connected, we had tons of space to spread out. Plus, both of our balconies had gorgeous views of the turquoise water below.
I highly recommend splurging on a beach view room, if you can. There is nothing like waking up to the sight of the ocean below.
Family Saver Package
To make a good deal even better, I booked the Family Saver Package, which includes free breakfast. The breakfast buffet at Sandcastles restaurant is divine; you definitely don’t want to miss it. Breakfast options include an omelet station, pancakes, breakfast potatoes, sausage, bacon, fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, and pastries – it was the highlight of my day, every day.
Restaurants at Hilton Sandestin
In high season, there are seven dining experiences to choose from at Hilton Sandestin. We had a few less visiting in the fall (Picnix ice cream shop and the outdoor Barefoot’s Beachside Bar & Grill were closed for the season). But, we loved everything we ate at the resort. My teenage son enjoyed a casual meal with his grandmother at Hadashi Sushi Bar.
I had a delectable dining experience without children at AAA Four-Diamond-rated Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood. The whole family, including grandparents, loved our special Thanksgiving feast at the hotel. We stuffed ourselves silly with meats, salads, sides, and desserts. And when it was all done, we hit the beach instead of doing dishes!
More Hotel Fun
Again, if you visit in high season, day and nighttime children’s programming is available through Kids Krew. Daytime activities include kite-flying, sand-sculpting and playing with water balloons, squirt guns and slip-and-slides.
Kids Night Out activities include camp-outs on the beach roasting marshmallows over a bonfire for s’mores, searching for constellations, crab hunting on the beach. I hope to return in the spring so my kids can experience these fun activities.
Plan Your Stay
If you’re heading to Destin, don’t miss our fun, 3-day Destin weekend itinerary!
You may also be interested in reading about these Florida vacation destinations.
*All photos taken by Heidi Gollub.